Sermons

Summary: This is the 8th sermon in the Action Series. This series began during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Series: Action [#8]

NOT IF, BUT WHEN IT HAPPENS

Acts 4:1-22

Introduction:

The Early Church started out strong. Things were exciting and thousands of people were following Jesus. There were mighty signs, wonders, healing, etc… going on all the time. The Church was experiencing phenomenal growth; but all of a sudden, things began to change dramatically. The “Honeymoon” phase was over and opposition to the Church began to grow stronger and stronger. I want us to realize that it is not if, but when opposition from the enemy will come.

Acts 4:1-4

As God moves, you should…

1. Expect resistance to the Gospel.

You should not wait for resistance to the Gospel, you should prepare for it. The group of people that arrested them were powerful. The “captain of the temple guard” was a priest 2nd only in power to the High Priest. The Sadducees were a powerful group of leaders who interpreted and enforced Jerusalem’s religious laws. They interrupted Peter’s sermon because they had seen and heard enough. Their specific complaint was the proclamation of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Were Peter and John surprised? Of course not. They had seen resistance to Jesus before. They expected resistance. We have an enemy, and he is in control of those who are spiritually dead. If people resisted and rejected Jesus, they will resist and reject us. By the way, this does not give us an excuse to not present the Gospel. Peter and John healed a man and then explained what God was doing to a group of people eager to hear; and that got them in trouble.

Acts 4:5-12

As God moves, you should…

2. Be ready to speak the truth.

Peter and John spent the night in jail; and then they had to go before men who had been High Priest or would be High Priest. 2 of these men were directly responsible for giving the order to crucify Jesus. This was the most powerful family in all of Israel; and Peter and John stood before them. Notice that they were questioned about who or what gave them the authority to perform these actions and preach what they were preaching. Jesus was asked this same question.

The Sanhedrin was the religious authority in Jerusalem and were the group who had Jesus crucified. To have healing and preaching being done in His Name, (which meant it was by His authority); was a direct challenge to their decision to kill Him. Notice that Peter did not defend himself or his rights. He did not debate the priests. Instead, he simply proclaimed the very Gospel that got him thrown in jail. He told them what matters; “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.”

Acts 4:13-22

As God moves, you should…

3. Not compromise the truth.

It was typical of the Jewish court system to treat ordinary people gently because it was assumed that they were ignorant. They were usually let off the 1st time with a warning. The Sanhedrin had a closed meeting and came up with a solution to the problem. The solution was that they could continue to teach, but they could not do it in the name of Jesus Christ. Basically, they didn’t care what they did as long as they didn’t follow Christ’s command to be His witnesses.

Peter and John had a choice to make: They could be politically correct and stay out of trouble or they could hold their ground. This is a serious problem in the Church of the 21st Century. Many have “watered down” the Message of Jesus Christ in order to not offend people, hurt church attendance, hurt church finances, etc… We either need to preach the truth of Jesus Christ or shut up.

Conclusion:

We must never forget that all that we do should be about Jesus Christ.

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